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Window Valance Ideas

Dear Design Diva,

I want to put some kind of fabric at my windows, but I don’t know whether I should do curtains or a valance or something else. I want it to look nice, but I have young children and I’m afraid they’ll get long drapery panels dirty. I also don’t want to spend too much.  Any suggestions?

Window Weary

Dear WW,

Your idea for fabric at the windows is a great one. It will add color, warmth, and style to your room. I like valances for homes with kids and/or pets because dirty hands and shedding fur won’t  bother them. The largest cost in custom window treatments is the fabric, so valances end up being quite affordable, too. There are so many styles to choose from, and with all the fabric available, your options are endless. Here is a gallery of styles to get you started:

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Barbara Green is The Design Diva and owner of Sensibly Chic Interior Design.

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Saving on Draperies and Blinds

valance, blinds, curtains

Layered Blinds and Valance

Dear Design Diva,

I had an interior designer come to my home to give me ideas for draperies and blinds. I am just now recovering from the shock when her quote was for thousands of dollars! How can I achieve an elegant look but save money too?


Dear “O”,

Working with some interior designers can be quite costly. You are paying for their expertise in design, but if you can do the work yourself you can save lots of money. It might be a little difficult finding a designer willing to work that way, though, since they make money off of the entire project and not just the design.

Since fabric is the most expensive part of a window treatment, valances are much more affordable than drapes. Find a valance design which suits your room and style, shop at discount fabric stores for the right color and pattern, and either make them yourself or find someone who sews in her home, since those seamstresses are usually more affordable than a formal workroom.  You can also shop online for pre-made valances if your windows are of a standard size. The one tip I always recommend is hanging them high above the window, so only a small portion of window is covered. This will give more prominence to the window and allow more light to shine through. Affordable, woven wood blinds can be added for texture and privacy.

Hope this helps!

The Design Diva

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Barbara Green is The Design Diva and owner of Sensibly Chic Interior Design. Follow her on Twitter @thedesigndiva.